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Eldridge Cleaver #2260


Caption from poster: “American think of themselves collectiverly as a huge recuse squad on twenty-four-hour call to any spot on the globe where dispute and conflict may erupt.”

Eldridge Cleaver (August 31, 1935 – May 1, 1998) was an author, and a prominent American civil rights leader and activist, beginning as prominent member of the Black Panther Party.

Born in Wabbaseka, Arkansas, Cleaver’s family moved to Phoenix and then to Los Angeles. As a teenager he became involved in petty crime, and in 1957 was convicted of assault with intent to murder. While in prison, he wrote a book of essays, Soul on Ice, which was influential in the black power movement and is now considered a classic by many people. In the book, Cleaver infamously acknowledges raping several white women, which he defended as “an insurrectionary act.” He also admitted that he began his career as a rapist by “practicing on black girls in the ghetto.” He maintains that his criminal actions have nothing to do with the views expressed in the book. Cleaver was released from prison in 1966, after which he joined the Oakland-based Black Panther Party and served as its Minister of Information (spokesperson).

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